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Build and Install a Medicine Cabinet

Step 7: Mounting the Cabinet

With the door assembled, you can finally mount the carcase to the wall:

  1. Find the studs behind the cabinet. Drill 18" holes until you feel solid wood. The centers of nearby studs should be 16" from the center of that stud, but check to be sure.

  2. Mark the cabinet location on the wall and measure over to the studs.

  3. Mark the stud locations inside the cabinet and drill 18" holes for the screws.

  4. Hold the cabinet against the wall and drive the first screw, being careful not to drive it right through the back.

  5. Use a level to hold the vertical, and then drive the second screw.

  6. Drive the other screws. If the cabinet feels rickety, check that the screws caught the studs, and add a few more screws if necessary.

Step 8: Mounting the Door

Dave's Don'ts

Hinge screws can be tricky, especially the solid-brass ones provided with solid-brass hinges. I'm all in favor of solid brass, but the screws are too soft for hardwood. The steel screws that come with brass-plated hardware are infinitely easier to drive. I used butt hinges in this project, but “overlay” hinges may be easier to use. Make your decision based on esthetics and practicality—a fine-looking hinge is no good if it doesn't hold the door straight!

You may want to use a hole-centering device forces yor drill to start at the center of the hole (otherwise the hinges may twist). A big nail also makes a decent indent. Wrapping a piece of duct tape around the drill bit will prevent you from drilling hinge-screw holes through the front of the door.

With the carcase in place, fasten the hinges to the door. Place them about 2 12" from the top and bottom, and carefully drive the screws, without drilling through the face of the door.

Now mount the door on the cabinet. Have a helper hold the door in place while you drill one hole in the upper hinge. Drive this screw, put one screw in the bottom hinge, and then finish screwing the hinges.

Add a magnetic catch on the side opposite the hinge, then drill and attach a knob and a catch. (Overlay hinges don't need a door catch; they are self-closing.)

If you like this cabinet, you can easily add a matching one to hold linens. And when your finished with this project, you may decide the rest of your bathroom needs a facelift with new vinyl flooring or ceramic tile flooring.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements © 2004 by David J. Tenenbaum. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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